James Hawkins, John Niyo, Justin Rogers and Bob Wojnowski of The Detroit News offer predictions for Sunday’s Lions-Rams game at SoFi Stadium (4:05 p.m., Fox/97.1).
► James Hawkins: Every Lions game this season seems to go the opposite of what you’d expect. They’re competitive in contests you wouldn’t think would be close and flop in games you think they’d have a shot at winning. This one, though, should unfold as expected with Aaron Donald feasting on Detroit’s feeble offense and Matthew Stafford slinging it all over the Lions’ defense in a one-sided affair. Rams, 35-6
► John Niyo: The Rams haven’t scored fewer than 20 points with Matthew Stafford running their offense. The Lions have scored more than 17 just once with Jared Goff at quarterback. That’s hardly the only difference, but it’s the one everyone will point to heading into this matchup. And it’s probably the one we’ll be talking about after Stafford & Co. riddle the Lions’ defense with enough big plays to coast to a comfortable win. Rams, 31-17
► Justin Rogers: Yeah, this doesn’t figure to be pretty. The Rams are good and the Lions are bad, it’s as simple as that. Maybe the one thing working in the Lions’ favor is I don’t get the sense either Matthew Stafford or Rams coach Sean McVay is interested in running up the score, because if they wanted to, they could probably win by 50. Rams, 34-13
► Bob Wojnowski: Matthew Stafford says he has no ill will toward the Lions, and after they set him free, he shouldn’t. So I don’t expect this to be some run-it-up slaughter. Well, unless Rams coach Sean McVay wants to hammer the point that Jared Goff wasn’t the answer there. Goff needs to do more, but the Lions’ barren receiving corps isn’t exactly conducive for an aggressive passing attack. Goff checks down, Stafford lights it up. If the Lions control the clock with their running game, and D’Andre Swift turns a couple short passes into big plays, maybe the Lions keep it close for a while. Ultimately, Stafford and his (Cooper) Kupp will runneth over. Pick: Rams 38-16